DOLE: Issues with COA have been cleared


THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has been cleared by the Commission on Audit (COA) of possible mishandling of its funds for assistance to workers affected by Covid-19 last year, an official said on Sunday.

DOLE Financial and Management Service (FMS) Director Warren M. Miclat told BusinessMirror they already submitted a clarification on the issues raised by COA in its 2022 audit report.

“In fact, the DOLE got an Unqualified Audit Opinion (UAO), the highest audit rating by the Commission on Audit in the
 2020 COA Annual Audit Report,” Miclat said in an SMS on Sunday.

“The print copy of the 2020 COA Audit Report was handed to DOLE FMS on August 4, 2021,” he added.

Prior to the release of the UAO, labor officials attended an exit conference with COA to explain how they utilized their P7.3-billion budget for their Covid-related programs under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

These programs include the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), a one-time P5,000 cash aid distributed by DOLE to displaced formal sector worker; Abot-Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP), a P10,000 financial assistance extended to displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFW); and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers #Barangay ko, Bahay ko (Tupad #BKBK).

State auditors initially flagged DOLE for allegedly committing excessive payments of cash aid due to “insufficient internal control measures,” non-remittance of unclaimed financial aid; as well as incomplete documents for disbursement vouchers, liquidation reports and fund transfers.

Miclat said they were able to address the issues raised by COA.

Last week, a labor group also accused DOLE of withholding its P12-billion fund for its TUPAD so it could benefit certain local officials.

This after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) claimed the amount is still “unobligated.”

DOLE, however, clarified to DBM that the budget was already downloaded to its concerned regional offices to implement TUPAD in their jurisdiction.

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